On January 26 at 11:00 Moscow Time (GMT+3) the Valdai Club hosted an expert discussion on the escalation in Yemen and the Red Sea.
In response to shelling of ships in the Red Sea, the US and UK continue to strike Houthi targets. The Yemen crisis has affected commercial shipping along one of the world’s most important transport routes. The Suez Canal carries 12% of world trade and 30% of container traffic through the Red Sea. Every year companies move $1 trillion worth of goods through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. Destabilisation in the key transport corridor resulted in rising energy prices, port insurance premiums and, consequently, an increase in the cost of goods.
Another round of instability in the Middle East was caused by long-standing conflicts and escalation of contradictions between key regional players. The situation in the Red Sea is directly related to the development of the crisis in Palestine. The operation in the Gaza Strip prompted retaliatory actions by a number of Muslim armed groups against the United States and other allies of Israel. If the situation cannot be resolved, other countries in the region may be involved in the Middle East crisis.
How will the escalation in Yemen and the Red Sea affect global trade? Does it threaten regional security? What was the role of Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands in preparing the airstrikes? How can forces supporting the Houthis respond to attacks by the United States and Britain? How can Russia influence the resolution of the crisis? Participants in the discussion tried to answer these and other questions.
Andrey Baklanov, Head of the Middle East and North African Studies Section at the Higher School of Economics
Kayhan Barzegar, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the Science and Research Branch of the Islamic Azad University in Tehran
Kobi Michael, Senior Research Fellow at the National Security Institute in Tel Aviv, Senior Research Fellow, Misgav Institute
Working languages: Russian, English.